Friday, January 4, 2013

Swinging a Hammer Into the New Year

 Transitioning a second story kitchen into a bedroom is harder than you might imagine. Here's a shot of the cabinets mostly demolished. The uppers have already been moved to the garage to make storage space (imagine the white area on the wall as the "backsplash"). In this picture you can see a number of potentially deadly DIY projects:

The rest of the demo work reveals missing baseboard and miserable water  damage to the flooring.

W. M. Rutter- apparently a now defunct WV lumber  company.
Difficult to obtain 1 1/2 x 5/16 red oak strip flooring.
My pathetic first attempts at soldering copper pipes in the wall between the room and a closet. You can see that the first try didn't work (water sprayed on  lathe).  On a second try, I forgot to empty the active water line down to the valve in the basement and nearly lost an eye when steam in the pipe built up and shot off the end cap like a bullet!

Plaster patching finished (I was forced to cap the waste water line and leave it protruding slightly from the wall). It connects to an air vent directly on the other side of this wall in the corner of the closet. Since we didn't want to remove the whole thing, which would have also involved roof work, we settled for a small oddity. It will likely be behind a bed or some other piece of furniture anyway!

You can see the electrical outlet now moved to the baseboard just to the right of the ladder.

Well, it's still a work in progress. I was able to reuse baseboard from the kitchen in this room, except for one stretch. I also found trim work I had saved to match the existing wood around the closet door. I would not have been able to match it otherwise, short of custom millwork (hah!). What remains? SERIOUS flooring work (2 inch x 5/16 straight edge is on order- I will have to rip each piece), then refinishing the entire floor and lots of painting. Stay tuned!

A Church Family Christmas

Our Christmas holiday was very full! This year we traveled to both halves of our families splitting our vacation time right down the middle. But of course, it all begins a few weeks earlier with the annual Christmas tree hunt:

We found this tree very quickly, a Blue Spruce with incredible coloring, very slim, and what I estimated to be the perfect height (just over 9 feet). I had forgotten a tape measure (contrary to my father's excellent tree selection training growing up) and had to judge off my own height. In the picture, we are standing on higher ground.

The tree fit wonderfully!

On further inspection, we found that our tree, with its "incredible coloring," had been sprayed with dye! I complained and was told that it was standard industry practice these days and that I was the only one who didn't like it. I don't know about you, but if I am going to buy a natural tree, I would prefer it to be natural! I actually tend to think that the Blue Spruces had a rough summer\fall and had a lot of yellow in their needles prompting Family Christmas Tree Farm of Red Lion, PA (among others) to spray them. 

Jericho looks cute while trying to electrocute herself.

Pop Pop!
We headed south to Harrisonburg as soon as we got free from work. Jericho Faye adores her Pop Pop, along with cousin Rachel May.

Snuggle time with Momma and baby brothers...


More cousins!
This is up at the extended Church family gathering in Woodstown, NJ.  Judah and Isaac are anticipating the birth of another sibling (each in their own way I believe), and Jericho looks forward to cousin #8, with #9 on the way too!

Laura and I approached the "gingerbread house" making competition full throttle, preparing in advance to build  this church using Jolly Ranchers to create stained glass. We ran into some structural difficulties, and the steeple got nixed (all Asa's fault), but were still pleased with the results!